Rebels By Bus

Slow Travel With Low Carbon Footprint

Archive for the ‘Beyond Puget Sound’ Category

Seeking Summer…

In the damp cold of mid-April, I decided to plan an early June get-away east of the Cascades to Wenatchee and Lake Chelan… where summer actually exists in June.  Almost two years ago, at the state Public Transportation conference, I heard about this route, and was looking forward to actually DOING it!

Of course, this was a car-free vacation…except for delivery and pick-up to the train/bus station by my dear neighbor, Nancy (thank you, Nancy!)

Day One:  Empire builder to Wenatchee

This past Tuesday I took the northbound Amtrak Cascades train 506, leaving the Olympia/Lacey depot about 2:15 pm, arriving in Seattle about 3:30 pm.  I hadn’t taken the train between Olympia and Seattle for a long time; it really is a great trip.  You travel alongside Puget Sound, under the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and past lovely scenes you can’t see from roadways.  An adult fare for this trip is only $16.  Read the rest of this entry »

The littlest rebel returns!

The RBB March 26, 2010 post features Max, my adorable grand nephew.   Max has returned to the great Northwest, with his Mom (Sarah), Sarah’s friends Riana, and Riana’s two year old daughter, Shiway. 

In early November these two brave women and their two always-on-the-go two year olds took Portland by storm.

Following is Sarah’s write-up of the trip…she is convinced using public transportation with toddlers is the way to go!  Yeah, Sarah! 

I’ve spent the majority of my life in Alaska – a state that’s not exactly known for its public transportation systems, outside of the Marine Highway (the ferry system that serves Southeast Alaska and goes as far as Bellingham, WA – what an RBB adventure that would be!).   With a landmass four times the size of Texas and the great number of people who live outside of urban areas, the developmentof a public transportation infrastructure has presented a challenge.   In my 25+ years in Alaska, I’ve never lived anywhere that had a bus stop within walking distance, and park-n-ride options were routinely further away from my home than my workplace.

I did, however, live in Portland, Oregon, for three years while attending graduate school, and  learning to use – and love – public transportation was a big part of my experience there.  So when my friend Riana and I were planning a trip to Portland for the two of us and our two-year-olds, Max and Shiway, this fall, we quickly realized that having a car-free vacation was a distinct possibility. Read the rest of this entry »

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

This is a Portland adventure. Mary was in town and stopped in to visit. We headed to the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, which is near where I live. Clearly, this park’s peak time is in the spring when the Rhodies are in full bloom, but it was gorgeous with the fall colors.

There are winding paths along the springs, with ducks and geese living in harmony.  We spied a heron, but it was too far to get a photo.

Afterward, we headed back to Westmoreland–Bybee and Milwaukie Ave. and went to the Oaks Bottom Pub for lunch. Food was great. And then it was time for Mary to head back to Portland, pick up her niece and little rebel Max, and return to Olympia. Read the rest of this entry »

Car Free Santa Barbara

It’s been awhile since I’ve added a new post… family obligations (and Gail moving to Portland!) has kept me close to home.
Yes, I went to a couple Mariner games by bus and/or Sounder train this summer, but I have been long overdue for a new adventure.


This past week’s adventure was grand and perfect:
Santa Barbara, California.


Santa Barbara is a lovely Mediterranean style (think red tile roofs and stucco) style town 90 miles north of Los Angeles.
“Santa Barbara car-free” (SBCF) ( encourages visitors to walk and/or use public transportation to explore the city.  Being a rebel by bus, that’s just what I did!

Here are some highlights of my visit:

  • Santa Barbara Transit ( Bus line 11 travels between the airport and the downtown Transit Center every 30 minutes.  Depending on where you are staying, you can catch another bus, walk, or take a taxi to your destination.  (I walked).  Lucky Cab gives “car-less” travelers a 20%  cab fare discount.  I found that information on the SBCF website.  The transit website also has a good trip planner.
  • I stayed at the Brisas Del Mar, at 223 Castillo Street.  This older, but well maintained, Mediterranean style hotel is an easy three block stroll to the beach.  They offer many extras, such as breakfast, afternoon wine and cheese, and evening cookies and milk.  They also have cruiser bikes that are available (free) on a first come, first serve basis. Read the rest of this entry »

Feeling Groovy

OK. This is not Olympia. Once you get into riding the bus, you begin to look for opportunities wherever you are.  I was in NYC visiting family and my nephew Brad told me about an express bus (QM 2) into Manhattan.  So, I went in search of the bus stop. People were helpful so it did not take long to find it. It runs every half-hour.

Read the rest of this entry »